Digital Humanities covers many different fields of study, and those within DH debate over what exactly is and is not DH. However, Bucknell has decided to change the title of this program from Digital Humanities to Digital Scholarship. I like the change because the different name is more inclusive of other fields of study. I believe the emphasis of inclusion is more representative of the principles and values of DH. Over this past week and a half, I have learned a few definitions of digital scholarship that I could rely on for this blog post. But I like to keep things simple, so I will speak briefly about my takeaway from this new knowledge.
Over the week, I was able to look over a few digital scholarship projects including: Ellas Tienen Nombre, The Map of Early and Modern London, and Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek. From these projects, I was able to reflect upon the scope of Digital Scholarship/Humanities, and while most scholars probably wouldn’t agree, I think Digital Scholarship is about making academia sexy. The principles of making the data accessible to a wide audience, collaborating to expand ideas (including incorporating data from viewers), representing under-represented communities, and using digital technology make Digital Scholarship interesting to those who do not focus on that field of study. Digital Scholarship is the new, exciting, and fun cousin to traditional scholarship. I am excited to incorporate these ideals into my project.
These projects have given me inspiration and a clearer idea of what I plan to do over my summer. My project was originally to look deeply into data sets, and I still plan to do so, but I plan to create visualizations for the data as I look through them. To me, charts and tables are difficult to read and learn from. It is important to have a visual display to truly understand trends or patterns. Therefore, I will be spending most of my time creating maps of the Latinx community in select cities. I understand that these technologies take time to make, and the projects we saw were the product of many years with many hands at work. Because I only have 8 weeks, I need to be realistic about how much data I can represent. I plan to finish at least 3 representations; I think that 3 is always a good number to work with. It is not too much, and it is not too few. That is the main reason 3 is my ideal number of maps, but once I get to work I know that the number might change depending on how long it takes me to create my first map. I am motivated and ready to begin learning ARC GIS, I’m sure it will be fun getting used to it.
My big picture takeaway from this week is that I will have to start getting to work fast! I’m not sure if I have enough time to make all these representations—especially since apparently the library is closed at 5 and will be closed every weekend! But here’s to putting my best foot forward!